The digital has left its marks everywhere and is now visible in anything and everything that humans do. A massive footprint of technology in the event industry is the advancement of event management software.
When the digital age started penetrating the event industry, event profs were a bit sceptical. Apart from all the opportunities, they also saw an array of online tasks to be done. Apart from the conventional tasks, they now also had to go from vendor to vendor juggling n-number of things.
But then, technology itself gave a revolutionary solution — event management software. It is the one single solution that will help you with everything from event website to event application, registration portal and everything else.
However, you have to be a little smart when working with this magic wand. Though it can really help you out in many different ways, you also need to check if the software you are going to is the right one.
Here are the 10 big questions that you need to ask your event management software vendor to ensure that you are on the right way.
1. What are the major features of your software?
Event management software can completely transform the way you work with events. However, for that to happen, it is necessary that the software that you are using is actually feature-rich and useful.
Thus, this should definitely be your first question to your software vendor. The general features that are necessary for such a software to have are:
– Event Website — Event website is the official online point of contact for your event. Thus, it should be designed neatly and must be able to inculcate all the necessary details. Any vendor that you work with, should be able to provide you with this.
– Event Application — Though not used by all event organisers, an event application can actually be an extremely profitable tool. Based on your event requirements, ask if the vendor can provide you with an event app. Also ask for the specifications, compatibility, etc. of the application.
– Networking platform — A networking platform helps create an interactive virtual environment where all your event attendees, speakers, exhibitors, etc. can network and communicate with each other. Ask if the vendor’s software provides that.
– Online Registration and Ticketing Portal — This is mainly an inevitable part of your event’s online presence. The software provided by your vendor should include a holistic and secure registration and ticketing portal. Also, check with them about the payment options that can be used.
– Social Media and E-mail marketing — Event management software can also assist you with the most important forms of event marketing — SMM and e-mail marketing. Simply by entering the contact database and email content, you can send out emails to a large crowd using such a software. Talk to your vendor about the provisions of this aspect in their software.
The above-mentioned were just the basic features that your event management software should include. There are a lot many things apart from this that can be crucial based on the type of event you are hosting.
2. What are the service packages available?
While such a software can provide you with an array of features and functionalities, you might not necessarily need all of them. Or if you are hosting a rather large-scale event, you might actually need something more than the basic features.
Now one of the most significant benefits of using such an automated software is that it allows substantial cost-cutting. Thus, you need to verify beforehand with your vendors about the various service packages that they provide.
This way, you will know if your required features can be acquired with your budget.
3. How customized will the services be to cater to my specific requirements?
Every event is different from each other. Even different chapters of the same event are different and tend to have significantly different requirements. While such automated software uses certain design templates, it is necessary that they don’t miss out on the unique requirements of your event.
Thus, always be sure to talk about this with your vendor. Explain all your requirements to them and then understand the scope of personalization available with their software.
If it does not fulfil all your needs, you can always find a different vendor. After all, automation does not mean compromising with quality.
4. What are the attendee engagement features in your software?
Attendee engagement has been an integral part of event management from the beginning of the industry. However, the technological advancements have made the concept broader and more dynamic.
Ideally, a good event management software is supposed to help you with this. There are a lot of features that can be used and integrated to make the event more engaging for your attendees.
The software can have features like networking platform, chatbot, a social media wall, user-generated content, audience response technology and much more. Find out what all your vendor can provide you within this context.
5. Can I get wearable tech integration for my attendees?
Use of wearable technology in events has become one of the most popular trends of the last 2–3 years. You can provide your attendees with a range of such products that will act as their assistance throughout the event.
This is not only a very practical and productive option but also a very interesting and sophisticated one. And the good news is that your event automation software can actually help you with this.
If you want to jazz up your event with such a technology, talk to your vendor about it. Ask them if it is possible with their software and what are the specifications of the same.
6. What is the scope of event branding with your software?
All the services provided by an event management software comprise of the elements of your event branding, whether direct or indirect.
Your event website, event application, networking platform, registration portal, attendee engagement tools and everything else will somehow impact your event’s branding strategy.
There is a lot of scopes here for you to put out an efficient image of your event to all your stakeholders. But again, the specifications solely depend on the vendor. Thus, ask them about the scope of branding that all the various aspects of the software can provide you with.
7. What all resources will I have to invest in getting all the work done?
One major benefit of using event automation is that it massively reduces your task. Conventionally, you have to deal with a lot of different vendors and constantly work to fulfil your requirements. That is not the case with event automation. It holistically reduces the amount of resources that you have to invest.
Yet, the specifics differ from vendor to vendor. Thus, ask your vendors in detail about the time, money and work that has to be invested in the process from your side. This will give you a better picture of the situation and prevent any misunderstandings or communication gaps.
8. What are the event analytics features in the software?
Any event provides the organisers with a range of data and information. This is to be used and analysed pre, as well as, post-event. Before the event, properly collected data can help you increase the number of attendees for your event.
After the event is finished, the data can be leveraged for the major purposes for which you actually conducted the event.
Since an event management software provides you with a website, application, platform and everything else, it will be only logical if it also helped you with the event data and analytics.
However, all vendors do not provide comprehensive solutions for event analytics. Thus, you need to talk to them about this before actually using their software.
9. What are your tech-support provisions?
While technology is insanely efficient and productive, malfunctions are just as common in it. There are a lot of major and minor issues that you might face when using an event management software.
In such instances, your vendor only can help you out. Thus, talk to them about this. Ask them what are their tech-support provisions, who will be the point of contact, when will the support be provided and finally, if they will charge you for that.
10. Which events have used your software previously?
The age-old saying of ‘Experience is the best teacher’ is still just as relevant. Event management software is quite a sophisticated aspect of technology and cannot be dealt with efficiently by anyone and everyone. Thus, begin with by going to vendors you have minimum 1–2 years of experience.
Secondly, ask them about their previous work. Go through the apps, websites, networking platforms, etc. that they have worked on.
This will give you an in-depth understanding of their knowledge, potential and capabilities. If you find their previous work impressive, you can go ahead and start using their software.